December 12 -- My Share and year-end get-together

posted Jan 10, 2016, 6:02 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Feb 2, 2016, 11:16 PM ]

This year’s My Share offered many diverse ideas on many topics, underscoring the range and diversity of our membership. Thanks to those people who came from afar.

1.Bogdan Pavliy  50-word compositions

Prof. Pavliy uses these with his students in Toyama. To demonstrate, everyone was required to write a 50-word composition based on a fairy tale. Writing a cogent story in just fifty words in under minute was very challenging. Fortunately, his students get more time than did!

2. Wendy Gough  Journal Sharing builds communities …
— empowers learners because they can freely write about whatever they want (share with their teacher)
— journals give the writer a sense of security
The presenter tried sharing classmates’ journals. Would it make students feel more engaged?  She used two year-long classes. Students traded each other’s journals and were able to freely offer comments in another’s journal. This process was carried out for ten minutes.
— As students started to engage with each other (closer bonds), the time was extended by several minutes.
— Gough’s end-of-the-year questionnaire showed that students were very positive about the journal experience.

3. Jon Dujmovich  Empathy is the cornerstone of communication
— We need empathy first in order to communicate effectively (e.g., such as a parent’s gaze)
— Even some cereal boxes are designed to sustain the eye contact of children
— eye contact activates parts of the brain that facilitate/develop empathy
— I was forced to stare into friend’s eyes for about a minute. It was quite uncomfortable.
—This reporter questions whether empathy is the cornerstone of communication, but that’s for another time.

4. Gregg McNabb  Online speed-reading
— Online speed reading may allow teachers to control the pace in their classroom
— Online speed reading can immediately improve students’ reading speed
— Sullivan questioned McNabb’s assertion that reading on a cellphone is not real reading. And claimed that she has read an entire book in horizontal mode. This reporter would suggest that it might have been impaired reading unless the phone was a sizeable one. In any case, McNabb’s point was that using a cellphone to “read” takes away time from actual/better reading.

5. Michael Boyce   Conflict resolution as it applies to natural disaster
— Boyce’s presentation was a public service.
— People should learn more about disaster readiness.
— A decision tree for disaster readiness needs to be practiced.
— He explained why certain emergency items are more valuable than others.
— It is safe to say that most people who have made some preparations believe their preparations are not too bad. We learned that this is probably not the case.

6. Adam P.  Simulation vs. imitation
— He thinks too much imitation in textbooks is unnatural. Learning needs to be less controlled and more naturalistic. Let Japanese learners use their existing background knowledge (hunt and peck — find their way). It’s an interesting assertion, but surely learners need to be provided with a solid base first.

7. Adam J.  Moodle Reader
Extensive reading for marks. Marks for X number of words read
— He showed us how the Moodle Reader works for people who do not have Moodle   You must ask Tom Robb for permission to use the site.

8. Jane Joritz-Nakagawa  Not Gender Free but Gender Fair
Be mindful of our gender attitudes even when we feel we are being fair. Try to be random when choosing.
Look for gender balance in content because there are enough from both sides.

9. Dan Mortali  Team teaching — the good, the bad and the ugly
— The Bad: Miscommunication , lack of cultural awareness, the level of seriousness of native speakers, underqualified native teachers, underutilisation of ALTs continues some 25 years later.
— The Ugly:  Should ALTs be called “assistants?“  It limits the roles of ALTs  Japanese teachers often do not interact with ALTs
— The Good:  Collaboration, better teacher to student ratio, allowing students to see their teachers negotiating with an ALT is evidence that it’s not static.

10. Sue Sullivan  Three Questions
— Teaching mixed level classes
Topic   Private life vs public life   Should Japan have an i.d. system?

“Breaking News” is a good site for finding “stuff” related to the topic.
Read an article and comment on it. Using Edmodo, comment on other students’s comments on Edmodo.
Eventually, students give very short, speed presentations.